Needing only a top 10 this week to capture the European Tour money title, Rory McIlroy figured he might as well challenge for the title during a madcap final day in Singapore.
The Northern Irishman sank a 30-foot eagle putt on the final hole to close with 65 and surge into solo third at the Barclays Singapore Open – enough to make the 23-year-old the youngest money-list winner since Sandy Lyle in 1980.
“It has always been one of my goals ever since securing my Tour card five years ago,” he said of capturing the Harry Vardon Trophy, “but then to also end the year as both European and PGA Tour No. 1 is just amazing.”
The €289,297 ($367,664) paycheck moved McIlroy to €3,696,597 ($4,697,969) in the seasonlong Race to Dubai, making it impossible for anyone – No. 2 Peter Hanson, No. 3 Justin Rose and No. 4 Louis Oosthuizen included – to catch him with only two events remaining on the European Tour schedule (both of which McIlroy is scheduled to play).
He became the second player in two years (Luke Donald) to capture the money title on both sides of the Atlantic.
“Winning a second major already made it a fabulous season,” McIlroy said, “but then to follow Luke Donald in becoming No. 1 in both Europe and the States is the icing on the cake after a fabulous season. I set myself a number of ambitious goals at the start of the year, and to have ticked so many of the boxes feels great.”